The film is notable too for some of its depictions: Richard Pryor figures briefly as Daddy Rich, the founder of the Church of Divine Spirituality with The Pointer Sisters in tow; Lindy (Antonio Fargas) is gay and breaks male gender norms (one memorable line: "I'm more man than you'll ever be and more woman than you'll ever get."); and Duane (Bill Duke), who wants to be referred to as Abdullah, is interested in more militant politics. These identities collide in a screwball comedy setting in sharp, sometimes unpredictable ways. As many of the characters yearn for a better existence, the comradeship of the crew ends up being deeper than their differences.
Joel Schumacher's script more glaring; the dialogue and gags are more tepid and unfunny than they should be. But the movie is sort of sad in a way too--in a disarming moment, Duane cries at the end, saying that he can't take another day of "the clown show" and comes to a moment of understanding with old school Lonnie (Ivan Dixon). Throughout, the talented cast does their best to fill in gaps with their charisma.***
Also check an interesting perspective from Rose "Bams" Cooper of 3 Black Chicks in her review of Car Wash: "I am left with the uneasy feeling that overall, Car Wash failed to offer more than a brief - and, if one looks at it closely enough, rather sad - glimpse back to the Spectacular Seventies. Back in the day, I might have found Car Wash a lot funnier than I did today. But maybe that says more about me, than it does about this movie."
The music in the film was pre-recorded so the cast could listen along and it truly makes the soundtrack an integral part of the movie. I loved this moment between Tracy Reed and Franklyn Ajay set to the smooth "I Wanna Get Next to You."